What a butt kicking we just received at the hands of the RINOs. The legislative session was pretty much lost when Rep. Charles McCall was elected Speaker Designate and the terrible legislation popped up and the votes that were duly purchased by McCall' PAC lined up and gave good value for the money spent. Abortion was protected, corporate welfare surged, highway ticketing cameras were made legal, three hundred million new state debt was passed, the First Amendment weakened, fees increased, taxes increased, and Real ID came within a whisker of being enabled in Oklahoma.
We usually bring out the Oklahoma RINO Index late in the year in order to focus the incoming legislature on the fact that we are watching and will embarrass them using their poor voting records. But this year we decided to publish the Index before the end of May so it could be used in the upcoming primary elections. We need some incumbents turned out and the challengers need the ammunition. We also broke with tradition and expanded the list of bills to twenty for the Senate and twenty two for the House. That dilutes the truly terrible votes but there were so many terrible votes to choose from that it was hard to leave any of them out.
One of the most crucial issues never made it into the 2016 Oklahoma RINO Index, the abortion issue. The Syphilitic Bastards in the Senate did a masterful job in lulling the activists and public to believe that they were standing up for the unborn but in the background the fix was already in.
Back on May 19th SB 1552 came up for debate in the Senate only there was no debate, instead the vote was called and the needed 25 votes slowed registered on the board until it hit the mark and the politicians switched votes as they knew two things were certain: One, they could support the bill because it would never become law as Fallin had already agreed to veto the legislation, and two, there was no use getting hammered for the vote against the bill as they could go home and tell the liberals and RINO supporters that they saved their right to abortions. It ended up at 33 votes, exactly the number needed to override a veto should Fallin fulfill her promise to veto the anti abortion bill.
Bloody Mary earned her new nickname just a few days later after vetoing the legislation that would have sparked a court challenge. You see, abortion per se has never been found to be a legal act to perform; what was decided in Roe V. Wade was the right of a woman to have an abortion. An analogy would be the right to commit suicide versus the right to help someone commit suicide.
But with veto proof margins in both the House and Senate it seemed to the uninitiated that it was a sure thing to get the veto overridden. Two thirds were needed, 32 votes in the Senate, 67 votes in the House, but to get there would require House and Senate leadership being willing to stand up to Bloody Mary and embarrass her. Neither leadership team wanted that fight so they spent the final days of the legislature making sure that no one was recognized on the floor that might call for a veto override.
A plan was hatched to hold the budget hostage, hold the veto override and pass it in the Senate or the House would refuse to support the budget, forcing a special session where the abortion issue could be settled. Meanwhile the Senate leadership was blocking the call for a veto override and when they saw enough senate conservatives had left the floor leadership called a vote on two hundred million in new debt for the state and adjourned for the year. Initially supporters thought they had 49 House votes but in the end only 45 House members had the guts to vote against the budget and the budget passed 42 to 45. Yes, that is only 87 votes, 14 walked the vote or simply refused to show up that day. The chance was lost to avoid the two hundred million in new debt, issued to replace the gasoline and diesel tax money that was being stolen for propping up the welfare state. The chance was lost to force the issue on whether or not abortion itself was a legal act.
People wail about the rush at the end of session, how everything is compacted and no time allowed to read much less debate the budget and other critical legislation. That is done on purpose by House and Senate leadership in order to gain leverage to force legislators into a corner with only one exit. The first three months is orderly, there are clear rules and guidelines, committee meetings are posted in advance, amendments filed 24 hours in advance, deadlines are just that, deadlines, miss one and the bills die. Then the rules disappear at the end of session and new bills are introduced, amended, and approved in hours. Few get to know what is coming up much less understand the ramifications of the legislation. So called "shell" bills are brought to life, brand new bills with a single sentence as content, as long as it is filed under the correct state statute title it can be done. Even if the bills are heard, discussed, debated, and passed when the bills go into conference committee (joint Senate and House leadership reconciles any differences on the legislation) the content can be simply replaced whole cloth by a handful of conference committee members.
Even the massive budget can be filed one day and passed the next as it was last year. Billions of dollars appropriated, zero debate or discussion by the vast majority of the elected officials. This year we saw one of our rare victories as HB 3210, the massive tobacco tax increase failed despite a massive whip the vote effort and the voting was left open for two hours in an attempt to pressure individual legislators to support the tax increase. The tax increase failed by one vote with two members absent, then nine members swiftly changed their votes to avoid the political fallout from supporting a tax that failed and the final tally was 40 to 59..
In the end the legislative session turned into a disaster for conservative and liberty values. The number one cause were the House members that sold out to Rep. Charles McCall, indeed McCall pretty much took over as the defacto speaker immediately after the caucus election. But that can be turned around, the majority of the House members face election this year and McCall won by only six votes.
McCall and company need a political butt whipping. Are you willing to see that they are held accountable and leadership returns to decent hands? If so read on and get in touch ASAP. Just reply to this email to get in touch with us and volunteer.